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Just hand over your money

HMRC investigates allegations of tax avoidance schemes at Barclays - Times Online
Alistair Darling signalled yesterday that he was ready to crack down on tax avoidance by Britain’s banks.
HMRC said: “We have received papers relating to allegations of tax avoidance in the banking industry which we are studying carefully.”
The Chancellor told MPs that HMRC would publish a code of practice on taxation for the banking sector around the time of the Budget next month. The code, initially voluntary, would mean that banks must comply “not just with the letter but the spirit of the law”, the Chancellor said. “We expect banks to fully comply with their tax obligations.”
The scheme will be based on the one introduced for the corporate sector, in which officials engage in a “dialogue” with big companies to weed out avoidance schemes. According to the Treasury, it has resulted in billions of pounds extra in tax being collected.
Tax avoidance is legal, whereas tax evasion is illegal – but avoidance is deeply frowned upon and each year the Treasury comes up with new efforts to close loopholes.
Officials said that the taxpayer could save billions as a result.

No, No, No, The Taxpayer who has his pension funds invested in Barclays shares will lose billions which will be passed through the Treasury mangle to result in a small benefit to the country. Barclays has a duty to minimise the amount it pays in Tax, if it fails to plan to avoid unnecessary tax bills it is failing its shareholders.

Comments

These Inland Revenue types are thieves gouging money from off of "the people' in order to provide swell jobs for the gangs and relays of bad characters unable or too nasty to get along in normal work, and plus they are hogs themselves!

Tax is a purely administrative matter. There is no greater morality involved, no 'spirit' of the tax law. It is not like criminal and some civil law which attempts to codify both the (real or imagined) sense of the wrong that society attributes to certain actions and the reaction that it felt it should be met with. With administrative law, the only 'right' and 'wrong' that can possibly exist is what the law says you must do.

'Tax avoidance is frowned upon.' No it isn't. Who would frown on getting the paperwork right? (In any case, anyone who pays more tax than they have to is a fool.) It is particularly absurd for a government spokesman to speak of its being frowned upon since it is they who define the framework within which the rest of us must act. If they think they've got it wrong, they can change it.

(I have also ranted about this at my own blog.)

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